Tag Archives: incitytimesworcester.org – the ICT website

Grant Park: ribbon cutting at last!

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Late summer bloomers… pic:R.T.

By Edith Morgan

It was touch and go for a little while on Saturday, August 6th: the skies opened up and a sudden shower soaked us as we loaded things into the car at 10 a.m. to take to the picnic at Grant Park. We DID have a rain date set up for Sunday, but a quick phone call to Wini, the moving spirit and co-chair of the Green Hill Neighborhood Association, with Deb Bolz, assured me that the event would go on as planned. And sure enough, the sky cleared, and we proceeded!

This was a long-awaited event, and even though there are still a few pieces missing in the park’s improvements, it was really time to celebrate how far we had come, and how much was already accomplished.

So, at noon, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place – with a large number of Worcester officials and elected officials participating. Our mayor Joe Petty, City Manager Ed Augustus, our District Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, our previous longtime councilor Phil Palmieri, School Committee member John Monfredo, Councilor Kate Toomey, State Representative Mary
Keefe, State Senator Harriette Chandler, newly appointed Worcester Police Chief Steve Sargent – and Lt. Governor Karen Polito – (did I omit anyone?) all came to help cut the ribbon and say a few words to the assembled neighbors.

Several of them said: When Wini calls, everyone comes!

And therein lies a story: Although Wini has not lived here all her life, in the time she has been here, she has been an unyielding champion for, and advocate, for her neighborhood, its children and its inhabitants. Noting that there was a great concentration of social service agencies, Wini and Deb invited them to participate in our neighborhood and help in its improvement – and help they did!

Grant Park was for many years just a weed-infested block, with a basketball court at one end, often strewn with litter and drug paraphernalia, pretty much neglected and uncared for.

But Wini, owning a home right across the street from this park, was determined that this park should become a jewel in the area: playground equipment, fencing, retaining walls, benches – all sorts of amenities needed to make this park a gathering place for all ages in this community.

The Regional Environmental Council created garden plots there, and money was appropriated while Phil Palmieri was our city councilor. With constant pressure from Wini and her neighbors, finally a state-of-the art park was created. And this summer it was one of the sites for the city’s summer recreation program, RECREATION WORCESTER.

After the ribbon cutting, the picnic began in earnest: hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, soda, water and various hot dishes and salads as well as Table Talk pies for everyone were in plentiful supply – and lots of volunteers from the area, who passed out food and drinks, set up tables and chairs, and kept everything clean and tidy.

Around the periphery, tables set up by Lt. Annie of the police department, as well as Niko from the election commission giving out voter information, the USDA booth about the Asian longhorned beetle, and other displays to inform neighbors were there.

And for the younger children, Annie Parsnips, the clown, made balloon animals and with the able assistance of neighborhood residents, painted faces.

There is still work to be done at Grant Park, and perhaps by next August, we can celebrate the installation of the lights.

Our thanks to all who contributed, who helped, who attended – who supplied food and music (I am remiss in not having gotten the name of our disc jockey!!). And most of all, thanks to Winifred – Wini – Octave and Debra Bolz, without whose persistence and belief in the goodness of our neighborhood all this would not have been accomplished!

Greyhounds … so elegant! But they NEED YOU!!!

Story and photos by Rosalie Tirella

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We visited one of my favorite places today, Greyhound Friends Inc., in Hopkinton. A beautiful, miracle of a shelter/haven for “retired” greyhounds, gorgeous canine racers labeled, by the dog racing industry, “past their prime” and disposable at just 2 or 3 years old.

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I am PROUD to say InCity Times played a part in shutting down this cruel, dog-soul-sapping “sport” in MA!!!!!

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We worked for YEARS with the various groups to END dog racing in our state! A special THANK YOU to ICT WRITER STEVE BAER!! (We – all the animals! – love you, Steve!)

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Rescued, “retired” greyhounds need so much love! Truth? All the earth’s animals are at mankind’s mercy! What a tragedy! Into the forest, prairie, field or canyon, we stupid humans descend, killing and capturing and degrading everything in sight! We go to the oceans to strip their denizens of dignity! Of life! We murder whales and dolphins and seals. We create unending living hells for animals on our factory farms, in circuses, fairs or on streets…they are our “beasts of burden” and know the blood encrusted lash or die pulling heavy wagons up hills (Leicester’s steep Dead Horse Hill was not named for nothing!). Racing … fighting…there is no end to what we humans do to them. All the suffering! Even when they are our companion animals, “pets,” many of us still abuse or neglect them!

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My first dog, Grace, was half greyhound – brindle colored. I adopted her at the Worcester Animal Rescue League on Holden Street. What a beautiful first ever dog! Sweet, gentle, loving, patient … she was with me for 10+ years. She was a dream come true! And a natural athlete! I loved to watch my Gracie run! Her joy! Her adrenaline rush kicking in during her wild dashes! Her loose-limbed calm after her race around the Woo! park! Her easy, slack jawed canine “smile.” In her prime, Grace could outflank any dog she was playing/running with – except for purebred greyhounds!

The greyhounds that are trucked into Greyhound Friends (they also place Beagles and hounds of all stripes)…

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… break your heart when they come off the trucks, driven in from race tracks from all over the country/world: the dogs don’t know how to play, are uncomfortable standing on grass or in the sunlight! They are skittish and very shy.

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They just wanna hide in their kennels because that’s all they know: living, eating, peeing, shitting in small cages, sometimes stacked on top of each other. They eat a horrible liquid diet, so their teeth are rotted when they are at the end of their racing days. Many have to have lots of their teeth pulled! GF sends most of their dogs to their special dentist when they first come to them (the dogs also visit GF’s veterinarians for all their vaccines, etc.).

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The dogs are emotionally, as well as physically, deprived! They have had no one to cuddle them or give them a loving home life. They look so miserable and shell-shocked standing, on lead, in the middle of GF’s beautiful, open field when they first trot off those big, long trucks! I’ve seen it! A few are even afraid of umbrellas and such because they’ve been hit with things. We can only guess what kind of objects! The poor animals can’t talk to us! Tell us humans how sad or lonely we make them or how scary and violence-ridden their past lives were!

Jesus loved the animals, as he loved the children – His Innocents!

Won’t you please visit Greyhound Friends today and adopt one of their beauties?

Thank you!

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******

GREYHOUND FRIENDS

167 SADDLE HILL RD.

HOPKINTON

508.435.5969

www.greyhound.org

Mayor Joe Petty in our in-city neighborhoods – always in style! … and … a cool recipe Italiano!!!

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From the Mayor’s Office!!!!:

TODAY!

5 p.m. – starting at the Friendly House!

Worcester Mayor Joseph M. Petty will be leading a Mayor’s Walk around the Wall Street portion of the Grafton Hill neighborhood this evening …

… from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

We will be starting at Friendly House (36 Wall St.), then moving on to the former El Morocco site, and finally stopping at Westerman’s (50 Suffolk St.).

The Mayor will be joined by fellow elected officials, members of the administration, service providers and neighborhood group representatives.

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And…

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Don’t forget! Tomorrow! REC Beaver Brook Farmers Market – across the street from Foley Stadium!

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Veggies at ICT head honcho Rosalie’s shack:

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She’s growing a 5-foot-tall tomato plant but ZERO tomato buds! What the?????

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A friend gave R this corn yesterday – straight from the farmer’s farm! Thank you, friend!

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P.S. Here’s a great Italiano recipe from PETA.ORG!

Put the brakes on animal cruelty/American factory farms!
EAT LESS MEAT!!!!

Giambotta – Southern Italian Vegetable Stew!

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Also spelled Ciambotta, this is a traditional dish hailing from Southern Italy!

It’s comfort food at its finest — and simplest!

1 Tbsp. oil or water…Saute in frying pan:

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Add to big pot filled with 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth and 1 (28-oz.) can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes:

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces

2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced

2 medium zucchini or summer squash, diced

Spice it up with:

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (10 to 12 leaves) chopped basil

Cook in pot to taste…enjoy!

Copyright 2015 Compassionate Cooks, LLC. Reprinted and adapted from The 30-Day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthfully and Living Compassionately by permission of the author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Surviving the August heat wave

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Rosalie and her air conditioner – this a.m. … pic:R.T.
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By Edith Morgan

The grass is turning brown ahead of time, and my tomato plants, few as they are, have pretty much given up, drying up and drooping. We are trying to obey the City of Worcester’s water restrictions, watering after the sun has set and using a watering can where possible. Luckily, it rained steadily Wednesday night, so things are looking a bit more alive.

But now we face another several days of heat and humidity. But we are lucky: this old house stays cool even in the most extreme heat – the nine-foot ceilings trap the hot air above our heads, and the big old ceiling fan moves the air around enough to give us the illusion of wind!

This is a good time to relax and enjoy watching the Olympics, which will be going on into next week. Perhaps it is our imagination, but does it feel a little cooler to watch swimmers in that cool, clear water?!

At any rate, we are quite comfortably ensconced on our living room couch, watching the contests. And they are inspirational: There is a wonderful sense of the struggles and dedication displayed by the athletes, and we have been happy to see how many young people are watching and are inspired to put forth the supreme effort that our athletes are displaying.

What has impressed me especially are the behind-the-scenes stories – especially of the struggles that the champions undertook to reach the Olympics. Watching swimming and gymnastics and listening to the tremendous effort and persistence displayed by the winners can’t help but be inspiring to many of the young people watching. Hopefully, they feel that they too can achieve the kind of perfection the champions display!

Of course, it is not just determination that gets them there. So often there is the good fortune of being noticed by someone who not only recognizes special talent but nurtures it and puts a young person in touch with a coach, teacher or other form of help and inspiration.

Those of us who are teachers know how often we have spotted a special spark in one of our students and gone out of our way to encourage it, point it out to parents or others who can nurture it and pass the word. With the start of another school year just ahead, those who are still teaching have the opportunity once again to spot the hidden gifts in many of our students. But just finding it is not enough. There has to be that determination to learn, practice and, above all, persevere.

And so we sit here and enjoy the achievements of these young people, cheer them on, and marvel at what the human body can do with training and exercise.

One thing has struck me in particular: so many years ago, Olympics seemed to be pretty much dominated by men. But as I watched the gymnasts, the beach volleyball teams, the swimmers, the wrestlers and who knows what sports are still to come – amazing girls and women are winning gold medals, where several years ago they were not even in the running.

And, of course, the obvious ethnic mixes of the champions are evidence that real champions come in all colors and sizes!

An Open Letter to Ivanka Trump from Michael Moore: “Your Dad’s Not Well”

But first …

On the road yesterday …

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… I spied:

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Looks fun! – Rosalie Tirella

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An Open Letter to Ivanka Trump from Michael Moore:
“Your Dad’s Not Well”

From Michael Moore

Dear Ivanka:

I’m writing to you because your dad is not well.

Every day he continues his spiral downward – and after his call for gun owners to commit acts of violence against Mrs. Clinton, it is clear he needs help, serious help. His comments and behavior have become more and more bizarre and detached from reality. He is in need of an intervention. And I believe only you can conduct it.

He trusts you. He believes in you. Although I don’t know you personally, you seem to be a very smart and together woman. I think he will listen to you. He must because he is now not simply a danger to himself, he has put the next president of the United States in harms way. He has encouraged and given permission to the unhinged and the deranged to essentially assassinate Hillary Clinton. Her life is now in worse danger than it already was – and should anything happen, that will not only be on his head but also on those closest to him if they stand by and do nothing. I say this with the utmost kindness, care and concern for you, and I know you will do the right thing. Bring him in, off the road, away from the crowds. Now. Tonight.

And when you do, here is what a good friend of mine, a former counselor and social worker, Jeff Gibbs, suggests that you say to him:

Dad, we need to have a chat. Are you feeling okay? Do you have a minute? Please sit down. Because this isn’t going to be easy. No, I am not pregnant. No, what is going on is… is… I am really, really worried about my father. About you.

Dad, I owe everything to you. You’ve built an empire, a brand and a business for the ages. You have taken care of me, inspired me and, through your example, have made me who I am: a self-confident, honest-to-a-flaw, woman.

But Dad, I am deeply worried. You haven’t been yourself lately. The father I know is not a hater, not someone who encourages violence. Dad, you used to be A LIBERAL. You raised me as a liberal! The Clintons were your friends — Chelsea is one of my best friends! And now you’re joking that Hillary should be assassinated? Really?

Dad, I hate to say this, but you’re making me scared, you’re making my friends scared, and you’re scaring the whole country.

Dad… Dad, sit down! They’ll wait. I am not finished. Don’t get angry. Try to listen.

Yes, I know they love it, the crowd goes wild. But not for YOU. They don’t love YOU. They love the show that you put on. But people that hunger for red meat will turn on you in a minute. No, they don’t love you. I love you. I will always love you. And I see you hurting yourself — and you’re hurting ME, Dad.

Don’t get upset! You’re still the handsomest billionaire I know. I will always love you. Melania will always love you. Vladimir will always love you… OK, maybe that wasn’t funny. But you get my point. This running for President thing is destroying the dad I have known and loved. And honestly, you and I both know you didn’t really want this job to begin with! You just wanted to make a point. Ok, well, POINT MADE! You did it! Now, let’s stop and get some help.

I am asking you, right now, to give it up. To leave the race. Let that nice man from Indiana run things. Your place in history is secure. You need to withdraw. Move on, for your sake, for the country’s sake, for my sake.

The man who raised me was the man who, for no charge, built a huge ice rink in Central Park for all the people to use! You struck deals with some of the biggest assholes on the planet in finance and politics and yet remained friends, mostly. You built a family that loves you. I want that dad back! And I worry that, if you don’t stop now, neither you nor the country will ever recover.

There, there, Dad, it’s okay, let it out. Let it out because I know beneath that gruff, tough, handsome exterior is a little boy who just never got enough love. And that little boy needs some time to find himself again.

Let’s you and I walk out there now right now. The cameras are all set up and waiting. You can make up whatever excuse you want. You can blame whomever you want. You’re good at that! I just know this can’t go on, and you know it, too.

Take my hand, let’s end this. And by tomorrow you and I will be sipping Martinis on our yacht in the Hamptons with Chelsea and the friends we still have left. I love you, Dad. Let’s do this. That’s right, take my hand, here we go…

Ivanka, I have faith in you that you can do this. I know I’ve called your dad “crazy” before, but I was speaking politically, not clinically. This has gone beyond “crazy”. The entire nation — in fact, the entire world — needs you to step forward and do the courageous thing history will praise you for: the loving act of a brilliant daughter who also loved her beleaguered country enough to say her father wasn’t well and needed help.

Thank you, Ivanka.

Yours,
Michael Moore

Downtown! Tomorrow! On the Worcester Common! Gear up for the Latin Festival!

Tomorrow! Thursday!

11 AM to 2 PM

Free music! Grupo Fantasia!!!

REC Farmers Market!

Vendors!

Food trucks!

Artisans selling their art/crafts!

CELEBRATE WORCESTER’S DIVERSE CITIZENRY!! ENJOY A FREE CONCERT!!

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Out to Lunch Summer Concert!

On the historic Worcester Common Oval! (behind Worcester City Hall)

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Creative, local and fun – all in the heart of downtown!

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Thursday’s band: Grupo Fantasia

Grupo Fantasia:

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Angel Wagner began his career playing with a cheese grater and fork!

At age eleven, Angel went on professional tour with a Merengue band, later performing in Miami and at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Angel has performed with such groups as Aramis Camilo, Orchestra Cafe, Luis Ovalles and Manguito.

Angel Wagner provides traditional island entertainment for all people and much of the music is performed on original, handmade indigenous instruments.

The extensive repertoire includes original and cover songs from the Caribbean and Latin America. Also represented are various Cuban, Dominican Merengue, Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena, Colombian Cumbia, Mexican Mariachi, Calypso, Reggae and Salsa music.

A teaser!

Here’s to a VIBRANT downtown Worcester!

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From the City of Worcester website/R.T.;pics R.T.

An inner-city jewel! Green Island’s Crompton Park!

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Lorraine Laurie! Known to all as the “Mayor of Green Island,” Lorraine has worked tirelessly, advocated passionately, for the blue-collar Green Island! FOR DECADES! Thank you, “Sweet Lorraine”! pics:R.T.

By Lorraine Laurie

Crompton Park, the Green Island neighborhood’s jewel, is shining brighter than ever, thanks to major renovations started last year and continuing into this year!

The work on the Canton Street side of the park is made possible by a PARC
(Parkland Acquisitions and Renovation for Communities) state grant for
$400,000 and a City of Worcester match of $750,000. in funds including CDBG
(Community Development Block Grant) monies.

The current renovations complement the 6,500 squarefoot pool that was opened
on July 1, 2011. The ultra- modern complex which cost $2.7 million features a zero depth entry pool,a splash pad for toddlers,a slide, 3 lap lanes, outside showers, security and a family restroom and changing area.

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Crompton Park’s new pool, splash pad, water sprays AND SLIDE! are enjoyed by hundreds of neighborhood folks every week!

The Canton Street side of Crompton Park is now more accessible and safer be-
cause of the ongoing renovations. The entrance driveway and parking area have been moved to the left side of the awimming pool complex. A green space, in turn, has been created between the playground and the swimming pool area. The new improvements enhance the modern playground area on the corner of Harding and Canton streets and tie it in more to the nearby pool complex.

A new tennis court has replaced the old
courts and will feature United States Tennis Association “Quick Start”markings for youth development. The “Tenacity” program is already using the court as part of this summer’s activities in the park. Also, the court is adaptable for use as an ice skating venue in the winter. Two handball courts, new to Crompton, have been built near
the corner of Canton Street and Quinsigamond Ave. (in case you wonder what the large wall is!) and have proven to be very popular in other parks such as South Worcester Playground on Cambridge and Camp Streets.

Renovations have kept in mind maintenanceissues so that the improved areas will be much easier to care for and keep in shape.

All these upgrades and additions were many years in the making. Like the saying goes, “Anything worth having is worth waiting for.” Three very well attended public planning sessions were held at the Green Island Neighborhood Center itself located on the Canton Street side of the park in late 2010 and early 2011. A Master Plan for the park based on input from residents and stakeholders was developed by the firm of Weston & Sampson, environmental/infrastructure consultants whose office is located at Harrington Corner in downtown Worcester.

The plan was presented in March 2011. It was approved publically by the Worcester Parks & Recreation Commission on March 31, 2011 and the Worcester City Council on February 28, 2012.

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Crompton Park’s basketball court – a neighborhood icon – has been around for decades and drawn thousands of kids (and adults) looking to shoot hoop! Safer and more accessible renovations of this very popular and heavily used basketball court – “Cousy Court”! – are in the works!

What makes this planning session so special is that the master plan isavailable on the City Parks Department web site(www.worcesterma.gov – Parks/Rec/ Cemetery City Parks)!

A grant was submitted to the State but not funded. It was resubmitted the next
year. With the help of State Senator Michael Mooreand State Rep. Daniel Donahue, the PARC grant was successfully obtained; the City committed its match and the bidding process was undertaken.

This feature reporter is especially thrilled about having participated in the Master Plan process as Chairperson of the Green Island Residents Group, Inc.and is excited about the renovations that are taking place. She fondly recalls participating in the
previous Crompton Park Planning Group which met from 1981 – 1983. Thomas
“Tom” W.Taylor was the Parks Commissionerthen and James E.“Jef” Fasser was the parks Department Landscape Architect.

The top priority then was having the Green Island Neighborhood Center move from its rented Millbury Street store front to the old shower house on the Canton Street side of the park. With the help of grant and CDBG money,the deteriorated and vacant building was renovated to the needs of the Center. The building became “home” for the Center on September 27, 1984 and its new address became “50 Canton Street – Crompton Park.”

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ICT editor Rosalie and her mom, many years ago … they’re relaxing on what used to be known as the little hill at Crompton Park!

Speaking of the Green Island Neighborhood Center, Rochelle Appiah, Site Manager at the Center, says she is “looking forward to the completion, to the City of Worcester, construction team, pavers and builders we all say a big THANK YOU for improving our park.”

The Center is very busy with 30 eager children participating in the summer program. They play soccer on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with Staff from the Worcester Youth Soccer GOALS program. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday its Tenacity program time on the tennis court.

These two programs are open to all children ages 6 -12.

The pool is quite busy from noon to 7 p.m. daily and according to Rochelle “It’s the highlight of the day.“ Rochelle adds “I don’t want to
forget the beautiful WRTA building, sure does make a difference. Every day I look out of my window and say this neighborhood is on the rise!”

What’s in the future for Crompton Park?

When asked what he would like to see
done next from the Master Plan, Assistant Commissioner “Rob” Antonelli named three areas – not in any particular order:

a rubber surface for the playground so it will be softer

safer and more accessible renovations of the very popular and heavily used
basketball court – “Cousy Court”

and renovations to the softball field which alone “will cost $1 million or $2 million.”

Ronald “Ron” Charette, Executive Director of the South Worcester Neighbor hood Improvement Corporation, which runs both the Green Island and South
Worcester Neighborhood Centers sums it all up nicely. He says: “For nearly four
decades, the Green Island Neighborhood Center has enjoyed a great partnership with the Worcester Parks Department, starting with former Commissioner Tom Taylor and continuing with Rob Antonelli. The transformation of Crompton Park, under the leadership of Rob Antonelli, continues to build on this great partnership, making our park a jewel for the entire community.”

At 128 years old, our Green Island “Jewel” shines brighter than ever!

Raise a toast to the paper with the MOST!

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One of Rosalie’s favorite issues of her beloved InCity Times! pics:R.T.

By Edith Morgan

Fifteen and Still Ahead!

Happy fifteenth birthday to InCity Times – and good wishes for many more!

Many changes have happened in these 15 years, and I hope many more will take place in the coming years – we are still a long way from perfection, so the fight continues.

Over the last several decades, as more and more MONEY considerations dominate all that we do and think, the press has become more timid, more conservative, more limited in what it covers, and in how it does it. So much “news” is copycat nowadays, so that when you turn on major TV channels, they all are covering the same story, as though nothing else was going on anywhere else. And events seem to be reported as though they have always had two equal sides and need to be fed to us through the eyes of the same experts.

As the mergers and the absentee owners proliferate, true free press is more and more a fiction, and we are fed a variety of pablums, squeezed between more and more outrageous advertising.

But none of that has ever been true of InCity Times! It seems to be the only true FREE press still alive in the city. Yes, it is often very outspoken, direct, even brash – but there has never been any censorship or holding back. And many of the positions taken by InCity Times writers and contributors proved to be ahead of the times, fighting for causes that at the time were labeled as “far out” but succeeded in becoming mainstream. (One of ICT Editor and owner Rosalie Tirella’s campaigns, for example, has resulted in the freeing of elephants from their servitude in the circus.)

The [Jack] Hoffman columns were always among my favorites, as he exposed regularly (in his inimitable style and unique sentence structure!) the political “dirt” taking place around the world. On a more scholarly and educational note, I always enjoyed John Monfredo’s columns, and I hope that many parents took them to heart.

Over the years, much free space has been given to so many groups serving various underserved and barely noticed parts of our population – I have often turned to InCity Times’ listings of our elected officials’ titles, addresses and phone numbers so that those who do not have the latest media at their fingertips can also access their elected officials.

InCity Times is in the best traditions of American Journalism: every little American town used to have at least one newspaper that told it “like it is,” that was run by a fearless boss who was not intimidated by the power elites.

When I came to Worcester in 1967, there was a morning and evening edition of basically the same paper – the Telegram in the morning and the Gazette in the evening: same owners, same view points. Those were the days when peace marchers were “egged” and considered disloyal, and worse. Green Hill Park was being used pretty much as a dump (the city mulching operation was there, and a the quarry was being filled in with God only knows what. Eventually the I 290 route cut several lively and viable parts of Worcester in half – and so it went.

But now these things no longer pass with impunity – and I know that at the very least, InCity Times will be there to expose and oppose these things – and our editor Rosalie will lead the charge.
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Rosalie, last week